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Ciro Villa
Testing this Universe - Philomath - U.S. Space Program
Testing this Universe - Philomath - U.S. Space Program


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Welcome to my stream!

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Note (for those that just might wonder): My Google plus postings since June 2011 have been and still are a labor of love and passion. The time I have been spending and still do spend curating my stream is purely and entirely done during my own free time and I get zero financial gain from it (which is to say I owe absolutely nothing to no one).

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First of all, Spammers, Marketers, and other forms of Trollism or otherwise Anomalous behavior to my standards, will not be tolerated and will be dealt with accordingly. This includes but is not limited to post hijacking, or otherwise comments that are excessively vitriolic, disrespectful, rude, non-sense or stupidity. Although the majority of times I will probably simply ignore such commentaries, I reserve the right to remove some of the comments as I deem appropriate on a case by case basis. In certain cases, based solely on my discretion, I will regretfully resort to blocking the offender(s) as necessary.

Also, as importantly; I share a lot of articles and information about things that I find of interest or intrigue on the web. My sharing or linking of said articles is by no mean to be construed as implicit endorsement or otherwise necessarily agreement with part or all of the content of said articles.

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Interests and scope of my posts (in no particular order):
Space Science
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GMTO is hiring a Structural/Controls System Engineer to work within the Integrated Modeling team.

Primary responsibilities include: optimizing control systems, analyzing structure-control interaction, and system-level trade studies using an end-to-end coupled optical/control/structural simulation model. This model will be used for demonstrating telescope performance to requirements, and later, for verifying that the as-built telescope meets the performance requirements.

For more information or to apply, please visit:

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Fascinating! Astronomers estimate Fast Radio Bursts occur at least once every second somewhere in the entire observable Universe!

"When fast radio bursts, or FRBs, were first detected in 2001, astronomers had never seen anything like them before. Since then, astronomers have found a couple of dozen FRBs, but they still don't know what causes these rapid and powerful bursts of radio emission.

For the first time, two astronomers from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) have estimated how many FRBs should occur over the entire observable universe. Their work indicates that at least one FRB is going off somewhere every second.

"If we are right about such a high rate of FRBs happening at any given time, you can imagine the sky is filled with flashes like paparazzi taking photos of a celebrity," said Anastasia Fialkov of the CfA, who led the study. "Instead of the light we can see with our eyes, these flashes come in radio waves."

To make their estimate, Fialkov and co-author Avi Loeb assumed that FRB 121102, a fast radio burst located in a galaxy about 3 billion light years away, is representative of all FRBs. Because this FRB has produced repeated bursts since its discovery in 2002, astronomers have been able to study it in much more detail than other FRBs. Using that information, they projected how many FRBs would exist across the entire sky."

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"The search for biology on neighbor planet Mars won't play out like a Hollywood movie starring little green men. Rather, many scientists agree if there was life on the Red Planet, it probably will present itself as fossilized bacteria. To find it, astrobiologists likely will need to decode the chemical analysis of rock samples performed by a rover (like the one NASA plans to send to Mars in 2020). Only then might humankind know conclusively that life exists beyond Earth.

A new paper in the journal Astrobiology suggests NASA and others hunting for proof of Martian biology in the form of "microfossils" could use the element vanadium in combination with Raman spectroscopy on organic material as biosignatures to confirm traces of extraterrestrial life."

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"(—Using data from the first-ever gravitational waves detected last year, along with a theoretical analysis, physicists have shown that gravitational waves may oscillate between two different forms called "g" and "f"-type gravitational waves. The physicists explain that this phenomenon is analogous to the way that neutrinos oscillate between three distinct flavors—electron, muon, and tau. The oscillating gravitational waves arise in a modified theory of gravity called bimetric gravity, or "bigravity," and the physicists show that the oscillations may be detectable in future experiments.

The researchers, Kevin Max, a PhD student at Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa and INFN Pisa, Italy; Moritz Platscher, a PhD student at the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics, Germany; and Juri Smirnov, a postdoc at the University of Florence, Italy, have published a paper on their analysis of gravitational wave oscillations in a recent issue of Physical Review Letters."

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"Astronomers have used ALMA to capture a strikingly beautiful view of a delicate bubble of expelled material around the exotic red star U Antliae. These observations will help astronomers to better understand how stars evolve during the later stages of their life-cycles."

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"Scientists at The University of Manchester have created the world's first 'molecular robot' that is capable of performing basic tasks including building other molecules."

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The Expedition 53 crew is getting ready for a trio of spacewalks while helping scientists understand what living in space does to the body.

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"Scientists have long been intrigued by the surfaces of terrestrial bodies other than Earth which reveal deep similarities beneath their superficially differing volcanic and tectonic histories.

A team of scientists from NASA, Hampton University and the University of Hong Kong propose a new way of understanding the cooling and transfer of heat from terrestrial planetary interiors and how that affects the generation of the volcanic terrains that dominate the rocky planets. Based on the present dynamics of Jupiter's tidally heated moon, Io, the scientists hypothesize that the geological histories of the solar system's terrestrial bodies, specifically Mercury, Venus, Moon and Mars, are consistent with a mode of early planetary evolution involving heat-pipes. They further propose that heat-pipe cooling is a universal process that may explain the common features seen on the surfaces of terrestrial planets.

The team's findings are discussed in a paper recently published in Earth and Planetary Science Letters."

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